Optoma’s diminutive HD20 is barely larger than two hard-bound books, and its small size might have some dismissing the projector as a mere toy (it isn’t). Its low price tag might also turn some away, but the good news here is that Optoma (who’ve always done well with designing good performers at high value price points) has a winner on their hands.
You would expect that delivering a high value product at a breakthrough price point would necessitate some reductions in the feature package, and you’d be right. For example, the HD20 isn’t equipped with horizontal and vertical lens shift, which will be an issue for those that would like to mount the projector on a shelf at the back of the room. The HD20’s fixed vertical offset allows the set to be ceiling-mounted at a height above the top of the screen, but that same fixed offset means that for table-top or shelf mounting it needs to be placed at a point lower than the screen’s bottom edge. The further away from the screen the projector sits, the lower it needs to be, so ceiling-mounting is pretty much the only way to go.
The zoom and focus adjustments are of the hair-trigger variety, with coarse granularity that will have you cursing at setup. I’d recommend pairing the HD20 with a ceiling mount that includes three-axis adjustability—Chief’s new compact RSMA Mini Elite would fit that bill, for example.
Consider this projector if: you’d like a well-designed 1080p single chip DLP projector at a remarkably inexpensive price. Optoma has a well-deserved reputation for delivering high value front projectors, and the HD20 provides a really good picture that will surely please.
Look elsewhere if: you need installation flexibility, as the HD20 doesn’t come with horizontal and vertical lens shift, which will preclude its use in certain placement situations—it really is designed for ceiling-mounting only.
1080p single-chip DLP at $999 sums up the HD20’s appeal. For the price, don’t expect step-up features such as horizontal and vertical lens shift, and the necessarily compact optics don’t provide the deepest blacks that upper-tier single chip DLP projectors can provide. However, the HD20 provides a pretty good feature package, including extensive picture tuning adjustments not usually found on price-leader models.
Three HD inputs (two HDMI, one component) is more than generous for a projector at this price point, with an RGB PC input and a single composite input tossed in for good measure. The RGB PC input can accept resolutions up to 1600 x 1200 (UXGA).
On Screen Display